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I just started reading ________, because:

Matt Bell and Josh Maday, Dancing on Fly Ash: One Hundred Word Stories: Though I've already read many of these stories when they first appeared online, it's nice to have them in one place and read them all at once. (5/22/13) 

Knut Hamsun, Tales of Love & Loss: Hamsun is one of my favorite novelists, but I've never read any of his short stories, which he only wrote very early in his career. (5/10/13) 

Patrick Michael Finn, From the Darkness Right Under Our Feet: Despite its rich history, Joliet is almost totally unrepresented in fiction. This Joliet-based story collection might change that. (5/3/13) 

Various Writers, Hair Lit Vol. One: With so many writer friends contributing here, it would have been impossible not to read this. (4/26/13) 

Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping: Everybody calls this a modern classic, so I'm finally finding out for myself whether that's true. (4/15/13) 

Anton Chekhov, The Duel: I'm a sucker for Melville House's gorgeous novella series, and I've decided it isn't fair to judge the Russian Masters solely on my tepid response to Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment last summer. (4/5/13) 

Hans Keilson, Comedy in a Minor Key: I've heard really great things about this novella, and seeing that it's a short European dark comedy, I figured it was right up my alley - even though I might be unfairly conflating it with Bohumil Hrabal's Too Loud a Solitude, one of my favorite reads of the past few years.(4/1/13) 

William Butler Yeats, The Wind Among the Reeds: With Irish March winding down, I grabbed this collection off of Project Gutenberg, from a writer who is pretty much Ireland's all-time poet laureate. (3/29/13) 

Samuel Beckett, Endgame: I read this for Irish March, although the play isn't particularly Irish in character, and Beckett originally wrote it in French. (3/28/13) 

J.P. Donleavy, The Ginger Man: Another Irish novel for my annual Irish March. I hope the book is much better as a story than as a physical object, because my copy is a cheap-feeling 1988 reprint from Atlantic Monthly Press. (3/18/13) 

William Trevor, Cheating at Canasta : Every March I read nothing but Irish fiction, and the Irishman Trevor is one of my favorite writers, and certainly one of the finest short story writers ever. So this was a no-brainer. The only question is why I hadn't read it already. (3/7/13) 

Kurt Vonnegut, Armageddon in Retrospect: Vonnegut is Julie's favorite writer, and I greatly admire him as well. I picked this up a few years ago as a $5 remainder at B&N, and figured I should finally read it. And then dive into more of his novels. (2/27/13) 

Elizabeth Crane, You Must Be This Happy to Enter: Akashic sent me this as a review copy years ago, but though it's been near the top of my list it keeps getting nudged aside for other books. This year I've resolved to read more female authors (my track record there is pretty shameful), and Crane gets raves from many readers I greatly respect, so I'm finally diving in to this one.(2/17/13) 

Edward J. Rathke, Ash Cinema: Kuboa Press is publishing my first book, and since quality book design is very important to me, I bought this one (which sounds very interesting in itself) to see what the design looks like. And it looks great. (2/3/13) 

Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad: I've never read any Atwood, and thought it would be better to ease into her work with this short book (a retelling of the Odysseus and Penelope myth) before taking on Oryx and Crake. (1/28/13) 

Jeff Sypeck, Looking Up: Poems from the National Cathedral Gargoyles: Jeff is one of my favorite recent blogger discoveries, a medievalist who writes easily about the modern day. And this poetry project is particuarly inspired.(1/22/13) 

Ben Tanzer, This American Life: Ben is a great friend and great writer, so I'll read anything he puts out. Including his grocery list. (1/20/13)

Larry Brown, Joe: Kent Haruf called it a masterpiece, and Haruf is one of my favorite writers, so his word is more than good enough for me. (1/2/13)

May 22, 2013 in Books | Permalink


I've not read any Atwood, but I have a copy of The Handmaid's Tail, personally inscribed to me (as a "fellow writer) on my shelf. I need to pick it up soon.

Posted by: Paul Lamb at Jan 28, 2013 7:35:50 PM

Er, that should be "...Tale". Your spelling of the title sounds like the adult film version. :-)

Posted by: Pete at Jan 29, 2013 10:12:54 AM